Coach at Aiken Public Schools arrested, charged with criminal sexual conduct with minor, other charges

CSRA News

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – A coach in the Aiken County Public School District is in custody following a recent incident.

Benjamin Kesselring is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, public disorderly conduct and first-degree assault and battery.

The 40-year-old was arrested Saturday, January 4 according to arrest records.

Incident reports reveal the incident took place at a home in Graniteville on January 3. Kesselring was intoxicated and allegedly forced a juvenile to sit on his lap, placing his hand on her groin. She told investigators that, when she attempted to get up, he bit her on the shoulder. She and another juvenile then left the location.

Responding officers also spoke to an adult at the home, who told them that Kesselring was intoxicated and had left the home after a verbal altercation with her, prior to officers arriving. She told investigators that his phone was pinged and located at North Augusta High School.

Kesselring was then located by deputies, sleeping in the driver’s seat of his vehicle in the parking lot of North Augusta High School. The deputy stated that his breath smelled distinctly of alcohol. Kesselring waived his Miranda rights, stating he drank a ‘bottle of liquor’ before falling asleep. He was then placed under arrest for disorderly conduct.

“Coach Kesselring has been a coach for multiple sports for the last 14 years and has led many of his teams to winning seasons and championships,” according to a bio on Midland Valley High School’s website. “He has a broad knowledge of volleyball and has been immersed in the sport for the last 5 years with his daughters playing school and travel ball,” it added.

Merry Glenne Piccolino with the Aiken County School District issued the following statement following the arrest:

Mr. Kesserling is no longer serving as the Volleyball Coach at Midland Valley High School. His supplemental coaching role was suspended in September following a personnel matter unrelated to this weekend’s arrest. He is currently on administrative leave from his role as a clerk in our school district pending the outcome of the charges and investigation.

Count on NewsChannel 6 to keep you updated on this developing story.

Here is the full interview with Susan Meehan, the Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center in Aiken.

Meehan talks about some tips to help parents start conversations with their children.

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